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Villanova Basketball Opponent Capsule: St. John's Red Storm

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We continue our exploration and introduction of Villanova's 2014-15 opponents. Next up, familiar Big East foe: the St. John's Red Storm.

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Last Season: St. John's finished the season 20-13, 10-8 in Big East play.  The Red Storm failed to make the NCAA Tournament, but were selected as a number one seed in the NIT Tournament.  Their season ended abruptly, however, after a first round upset by Robert Morris.

Last Meeting/All-Time Series: The last meeting between these two teams was a thriller in Wells Fargo Area.  Despite multiple free throw misses down the stretch for the Wildcats, their tenacious defense helped Villanova overcome the Red Storm, 57-54.  Darrun Hilliard recorded 18 point to lead all scorers in the contest.  St. John's leads Villanova 59-49 in the two teams' all-time series.

Head Coach: Steve Lavin is currently entering his third season as head coach for the Red Storm.  After years as a college basketball analyst for ESPN, Lavin transformed a struggling program into one of the elite teams in the Big East.

Top Returners: The Red Storm will be returning star point guard DeAngelo Harrison.  Harrison, entering his senior season, is one of the most productive and talented players in the conference.  Last year, he lead the team in scoring with 17.5 ppg due to his ruthless, attacking style of play.  St. John's also returns leading assist man Rysheed Jordan as well as swingman Sir'Dominic Pointer. Despite posting modest stats last season, big man Chris Obekpa made some significant strides in his game and could take the next level as a post presence next season.

Key Losses: Despite returning a formidable core, the Red Storm lost a formidable frontcourt tandem in JaKarr Sampson and Orlando Sanchez.  Sampson, currently a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, was the team's second leading scorer during his senior season with 12.8 ppg, and leading rebounder (6.1 rpg).  Just north of Philly, competing in training camp for the New York Knicks, Sanchez was also a force for the Red Storm last season, averaging 7.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg.

Key Additions: The Red Storm will be relying on the development and improvement of the players already in place, as the team did not secure any significant recruits in this year's freshman class.  The most notable addition will be three-star recruit Adonis DeLaRosa, who is a seven-foot center who will need time to develop.